As family and friends arrive from near and far for Grandma's seventieth birthday, Cora is surrounded by excited shouts and laughter and the smells of favorite Cape Verdean dishes cooking. Everyone's g
As family and friends arrive from near and far for Grandma's seventieth birthday, Cora is surrounded by excited shouts and laughter and the smells of favorite Cape Verdean dishes cooking. Everyone's getting ready for the big beach party tomorrow, but Cora still doesn't know what to give Grandma as a present. It has to be something special.
Grandma is overjoyed to see so many of the people she loves, but Cora knows she still misses family in Cape Verde whom she hasn't seen in decades. Could Cora convince her to make the trip overseas for a visit? After a nighttime walk on the beach with Grandma, Cora has a dream that gives her an idea for the perfect birthday gift.
In her picture book debut, Janet Costa Bates invites readers into to a celebration of the strength of family bonds that transcend age and distance. A lush coastal setting and the anticipation that comes with festive preparations form the backdrop for this touching story that warmly depicts the treasured relationship between a child and a beloved grandparent.
Major Selling Points
- An intergenerational story that highlights the universality of the love between a grandparent and a grandchild.
- Captures the warmth and excitement of a happy family celebration.
- Appeals to a broad audience with its birthday theme and focus on giving from the heart.
- Touches on immigration and sensitively describes the contemporary experience of families who love each other despite the fact that they may be separated by distance.
- Features an appealing beach setting.
- Winner of Lee & Low's New Voices Award Honor for new picture book writers.
- Portrays with colorful details the culture of an African American (Cape Verdean) family, a setting not typically found in children's books.
- An author's note offers further information about Cape Verdean history and culture as well as the personal inspiration behind the story. Also includes a glossary and pronunciation guide.
- Ties in with the "Culture," "Time, Continuity, and Change," and "People, Places, and Environments" strands of the Social Studies Curriculum Standards. (source: NCSS Standards publication)
- Grandma Calls Me Beautiful by Barbara M. Joosse, illustrated by Barbara Lavallee (Chronicle, 2008, $16.99, ISBN 978-0811858151). Captures the island setting and incorporates the language and culture of Hawaii as a grandmother tells her granddaughter how beautiful and beloved she is.
- Grandma's Records by Eric Velasquez (Walker, 2001, $7.95 paperback, ISBN 978-0802776600). A boy spends his summers listening to records with his grandmother in Spanish Harlem, and one summer, attends with her a live concert by a Puerto Rican band, whose music stirs nostalgia for her home country.
- A Birthday Basket for Tia by Pat Mora, illustrated by Cecily Lang (Simon & Schuster, 1992, $5.99 paperback, ISBN 978-0689813283). While her family prepares for a surprise party to celebrate her great-aunt's 90th birthday, a Mexican American girl puts together a birthday basket of objects that represent activities she and her great-aunt like to share.
- Magic Beach by Alison Lester (Allen & Unwin, 1992, $7.95 paperback, ISBN 978-1741144888). Children enjoy real and make-believe experiences during a day at the beach.
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"A boy and his father stand on a cliff and watch a pod of orcas swim by. Their conversation is simple, as the man tells his son some things about the animals, and the youngster observes and asks questions. . . . The prose is brief and poetic, sometimes even rhyming, and draws a lovely picture of a few majestic moments when a parent and child make a connection with one another and with another species. The illustrations flow across the pages with color and beauty, realistically portraying the world of both species. A concluding page about orcas will answer questions that may arise, from physical attributes to communication, and touches on what is not known. A lovely read for storytime, and a nice introduction to nature studies."
-School Library Journal
"As striking as orcas themselves, Davis's (The Jolly Mon) paintings of gamboling whales . . . black-and-white beauties, showcased against clear, aqua tones, glow with Davis's almost reverential touch. Realistic and sharp-edged as a photograph, his illustrations rise to the text's imagery with steamy breaths reminiscent of a snow drift, and a gracefully composed 'kite-tail string' of pelicans, yet his artwork conveys a deep respect. . . . [A] thoughtful offering to ardent whale lovers." -Publishers Weekly
"From a seaside cliff, a boy and his father observe killer whales in Bunting's poetic ode. 'They're orcas, every one,' the boy's father explains when they spot five animals frolicking in the distance. 'They may have come from colder seas / where icebergs float and break. / Icebergs, blue-white and polished by the sun.' Davis's realistic illustrations show father and son up-close. He switches perspective in the next spread, zooming in on the whales spraying misty fountains from their blow holes; back on the grassy ledge, the humans are rendered small. The boy's questions spark discussion and Bunting embeds plenty of information in her verse, especially when she flips points of view, allowing the whales themselves to tell part of the story. For unadulterated information, and an in-depth explanation of concepts touched upon in the text, readers will want to head straight for Bunting's backmatter. The real draw here, however, is Davis's true-to-life depiction of these magnificent creatures and the sea they inhabit, making this a satisfying introduction to ocean life and a good starting point for further research."
View Biographical note
JANET COSTA BATES has been recognized as an "Author of the Month" by Highlights for Children. Her prize-winning fiction stories have been published in Highlights and Pockets magazine. Seaside Dream was inspired by her grandmother, who came to the United States from Cape Verde. Bates lives in Canton, Massachusetts with her husband and their two sons. Recipient of a Lee & Low New Voices Award Honor, Bates, like Cora, loves to spend time at the beach.
LAMBERT DAVIS has illustrated numerous well-received picture books. Born in Hawaii and having lived on the coast of California for many years, Davis is often inspired to create artwork-as in Seaside Dream-that reflects his love for the ocean. Davis now lives with his wife and two sons on the southeastern coast of Australia, where he enjoys spending time with his family, surfing, sailing, and traveling.